This is my last post on our trip to Kansas, but I couldn't end without mentioning all we got to do with my family. My dad, the forever teenager, installed a zipline in his backyard for the kids, (or so he says...he certainly tested it out a few times himself!). :)
It went between to giant trees and the kids took turns riding it...sometimes in a bucket seat...sometimes on the trapeze-like seat. Alright, alright, I rode it too...but the kids REALLY got a kick out of it. And Matt got a workout cranking them up the zipline 100 times a night. Thanks dad/grandad! You're the best. He never ceases to suprise us with some new toy. The first year [at the new house] was the tire swing, then the ride-on lawnmower with a trailor for the kids to ride in, and now this. The kids will have so many fun memories from coming to this house!
Aunt Katie is another great part of Wichita. She just graduated college and is now gainfully employed as something that has to do with kids that have different issues/special needs. She was just starting the week we visited. My hope is that she never quits her side job at Ann Taylor, however, because I lovve that 40% discount! Oh, I didn't want to forget to mention that she also started MOTORCYCLE SCHOOL while we were there. She's such a third child. We love you Aunt Katie. Make sure you wear that helmet!
One of the toys my dad bought a few years ago is a big ol' above ground pool that he fills up for us every summer. However, it kills a large circle of grass in the backyard which my mom dislikes, and the kind neighbors mentioned that we could spend as much time as we wanted at THEIR pool, so that's what we did this year instead. The neighbor also happens to be a Wichita Police Officer, so Sammy and Claire got sweet temporary tatooes that look like Wichita Police badges. Thanks Officer Christian!
Both the kids got about 25 mosquito bites which we are still recovering from, but the other kind of bug that we DID enjoy was lightning bugs (fireflies? Whatever you call them....). Matt caught one for us right before a huge rain storm came through, and the kids got to sleep with it in a jar by their bed as a nightlight. RIP firefly.
This may look grose because it is the leftovers, but another favorite family spot in Wichita is Felipe's. It's an awesome family-owned mexican restaurant and it's about the only restaurant I went to with my family from birth to when I graduated high school. It's so yum. Great flautas, great tacos, great chips and salsa, and great margaritas. My dad ordered a big pitcher of frozen margaritas for us after church on Sunday! He's not usually so wild, but it was his 40th wedding anniversary!
Claire read the comics on Sunday. We don't even get the newspaper at our house in Chicago, but I have many memories of reading the comics on Sunday growing up. Very fun.
So, we attempted a family portrait as we left, but apparently I decided to set up the tripod in the leafiest/shadowiest place on the deck, so it didn't turn out fabulously. But here we are....nonetheless. If it turned out too perfectly, it wouldn't be us, right? Thanks for a great visit mom and dad (and Kates!).